Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bronchitis date night

Sigh, for those of you lovely people hoping for a fantastical date night, well, I'm also in your crew. Sadly it was not to be so. As much as my brain was saying yayayadatenightletsdosomethingfabalas  my body and the wheezy lungs replied nocandosistatoomuchphlegm.

Also maybe too much information. Was that an overshare? Are you not supposed to talk about phlegm on blogs?

Too late now.

Hubby and I just recapped a previous date night locale for our weekly Tuesday date night. He was in "da mood" for a burger, and I was in "da mood" not to have to cook, and we were both in "da mood" to watch some Wisconsin Badger basketball!

Place: Back to good ol' Joe Senser's, home of 17 giant TVs and all the sports you could watch!

Event: Our beloved Badgers throwin' down on the court with the Minnesota Gophers. You'd think that this would have drawn a bigger crowd, seeing as we are IN Minnesota. But really all we saw were a couple of hockey fans and a booth with two girls in Wisconsin T-shirts. If I hadn't been all full of congestion I probably would have gone over and high-fived them.

Long story short, we ate some greasy burgers and mopped up with some fries. Then returned home at halftime so I could watch the rest of the game in sweatpants and flopping on the couch with a kitty to keep me company.

Lame, I know, but not even all of my fabalas date nights can be as fabalas as we all imagine them to be. Which is a new word I picked up via Pinterest and a picture that made me laugh until I cried.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Blarf, I've been sick.

I'm not sure how this happened, but everything that could be considered a negative health problem that my parents have was genetically passed onto me. Just me, not little seester (she says it's payback for me getting the big pretty eyes).

Thus I am allergic to everything (including, ohjoygradschool, rats), have all the acne problems, the nearsightedness, and most pertinently today, the weak lungs.

This is all by way of announcing that I, once again, have contracted bronchitis. For those of you who've never had it, count yourselves fortunate. For those of you who have, you can commiserate. I got winded this morning heading across the bedroom to hit snooze.

honk honk. a nose in need deserves...cookies.

Fortunately for me, Hubby baked chocolate chip nutella cookies over the weekend, so dietbedamned I've been inhaling them for the past two days. Ahhh....sustenance. Hopefully I will have recovered before the cookies run out.

P.S. Hubbles is awesome because...he bakes cookies. And cleans up the trail of used Kleenex I leave around the house.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Korean Dramas

Normally I don't read forwards in my email in-box. Or forward them. Or participate in chain mail of any kind. But I found this old one from my little seester from like 5 years ago, and I can't help but laugh. Anyone who's ever seen a Korean drama series will understand. 

50 Things YOU can learn from Korean dramas

1) Hot, rich, younger men love fat, older vulgar women.

2) If you have a best guy friend, he is in love with you. And secretly you are too.

3) You and your boyfriend will always playfully chase each other on an ice rink, at the beach, or in the leaves. 

And you'll laugh for no reason and your boyfriend will hit you "playfully" but the force of his push will have you flying across the room. But it's okay. Cuz you're still laughing like a crazy person.

4) Brothers/cousin/uncles-newphews will always love the same girl.

5) You're allowed to make u-turns wherever you want in Korea. And there is never traffic on the side you want to u-turn to.

6) There is a super quick payment device that allows you to pay a bill quickly enough for a guy to run immediately out of a restaurant after his angry girlfriend storms out.

7) Everyone has cancer.

 If you're sick, all you need is an IV to make you feel lots better.

9) There is vomit and urine all over Seoul at nights.

10) Fighting at a pojangmacha with a random stranger is merely part of a normal night's event.

11) Soju must cost 10 cents. Everyone drinks it everyday all the time, especially the poor people.<I still dont get why thats all they drink in dramas

12) If you're rich, you're a jerk.

13) If you're poor, you're an angel.

14) Women sleep and wake up with a full set of makeup on.

15) You're not studying hard enough unless you get a nosebleed.

16) If you have a nosebleed, you most definitely have cancer. And you have no money to pay for the surgery that will save your life. And your liver is missing. We're not sure where it went, but it's making your cancer progress faster.

17) If you work in a sool jeep, you have massively curly hair and wear flashy colors from the early 90's.

18) You always order orange juice or coffee at a cafe. And you never drink it. EVER.< they drink almost as much as soju

19) You will always call your boyfriend by his job title. Or simply sunbaenim. Never his name. Never. He doesn't have one.

20) If you TRULY love each other, you must die together in the end. Frozen outside instead of finding shelter like sane people. Just frozen....

21) You go to America you come back miraculously successful. You go to England you come back amazingly fashionable. You stay in Korea the only thing that changes is your hairstyle.

22) And if you come back with no apparent reason then it's because you have cancer.

23) Everyone always goes to the same hospital no matter where they are.

24) If you stand out in the rain for more than five minutes, you'll end up with a fever and vertigo and people will rush you to the hospital to get some magic IV. And instead of taking an ambulance or driving they'll race you on their back.

25) Even if you're poor and can't eat, you never wear the same clothes twice.

26) If you play a poor kid, you always have dirt on your face and your hair is always messy.

27) If you're saving someone from being hit from a car, you'll push them out of the way and wait for the car to hit you instead. couldnt be more true, theyre like a deer in headlights

28) Everyone has a long lost sister/brother/twin. Usually one they didn't know about.

29) If you don't want to answer your phone, you can just turn it off. The battery 
needs to be taken out.

30) All korean men can drink hard, smoke long, sing well and play piano. Usually all at the same time. And at the same restaurant that has a piano that they let anyone use. 

31) If you're in a relationship, you must at one point leave and have your lover tearfully come RIGHT before you board the plane (vice versa applies as well. You can be the chaser). 60% of the time you see each other, the other 40% you're roaming around in circles and pass each other about six times, but miraculously never see them.

32) If you're getting off a plane, you're ALWAYS wearing sunglasses. ALWAYS.

33) All guys wear hideous tracksuits zipped up to their neck. Even if all they're doing is jump roping.

34) Girls will always storm off because they're mad and the guy will stoically grab them by the arm and swing them back- and by magic, not dislocate their shoulders.

35) Guys always look like they're 6 feet tall, even if they're only 5'10. Thank you camera angles.

36) Guys like to wear foundation, eyeliner and sometimes a smudge of lipliner. 

37) You always get stuck in an elevator with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Even if there are six different elevators, you'll always be stuck in the same one with that bastard you hate (or just fought with).

38) Unless you're fabulously rich, your in-laws will always hate you 

39) So will your sister-in-law. 

40) Your brother-in-law might be pining away for you. > 

41) There are only 2 ways to kiss. You either press your lips against theirs with your mouth completely shut, and just press away for a very long and uncomfortable time. OR you devour the other person and suck out their soul. In both instances, the world spins.

42) A guy will always get the right size ring, even if you're never held hands.

43) People stare off into space and ponder a lot. They'll just stop in the middle of the road and watch a leaf on a tree for a good three minutes, and just ponder. 

44) You'll get pregnant the first time you have sex.

45) You'll get pregnant if he kisses you on the forehead.

46) Hell- you'll get pregnant if you hold hands. 

47) If you overcome great obstacles to be together, one of you must die. Probably due to cancer.

48) One korean man can kick the butts of 6 gangstas. Especially when they all stand in a circle and attack the guy one by one. Then when each of them get their butts OWNED, they wise up and attack the guy at the same time. Then the guy will get pulverized and bleed out onto the dusty concrete floor of the empty warehouse they've found to fight in. There will be a fire in a trashcan somewhere. And the girl will have watched this the entire time, screaming in horror. Instead of calling 119, she'll just watch and cry. But it's okay. Cuz the next day the guy will be fine with a few random bandages and a few face scars. But never a black eye.

49) It ain't a real fight unless the gangstas fight dirty with a stick or switchblade.

50) If you study in the states (preferably Harvard), you are one of the top students and can speak perfect English (as assumed by the reactions of those around you). Why the rest of the world OUTSIDE of the TV can't understand a single word uttered out of your melodramatic mouth is beyond me. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras Date Night!

My goodness, was it ever a mardi gras night. Not in the New Orleans, showmeyourgoodiesforbeads way, but in the literal sense of FAT TUESDAY.

For those of you who aren't from the Twin Cities, and also might be from a coastal area where seafood is a-plenty, I envy you. I lovelovelove seafood, and here in landlocked MN it's always more expensive and less taste-ilicious than anywhere else I go. But we must make do with what we have, correct?

I bought a Groupon a while ago, and so Hubs and I made use of it for Date Night this week. Budgeting tip! We try not to eat out unless we have a coupon of some kind. We're not always successful at this, but we try pretty hard.

Thus ensued the Brunners' FAT TUESDAY date night.

Place: Stella's Fish Cafe in Uptown Minneapolis, very popular and hip locale, complete with rooftop patio (where, in the middle of February in Minnesota, we did not go to sit).

Menu: Gluttony came in the form of a Groupon for a Lobster-Bake Dinner for Two. Complete with drinks, salad, and dessert, I'm fairly sure Hubbles and I consumed about 39556483956 calories in a 2 hour period. But it was so delicious. Plus we got little plastic bibs with lobsters that said "Time to get Crackin!"

demolished. nomnomnom.
Couples Cute Moment: Hubby and I were pretty jazzed about this Groupon. Well, me more so than him, I like to eat. I like seafood. Ergo, I like to eat seafood. But it was pretty exciting for both of us. We spent the whole week getting ready for our LAHB-STAH dinn-AH. Yes, that is what we called it.

Yeah! Now all I have to do is run about 75 miles in order to work off that dinner.

P.S. Hubbles is awesome because...he thinks it's cute when I inhale lobster in public. With a bib.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Case of the Mondays

I mean sometimes, it's just not working for you. I usually have great mornings, accompanied by a great workout and a nice cup o'steaming hot strong coffee.

Today, I managed to oversleep and thus forego the workout (poo), then forget to bring my compy with me to school (doublepoo).

Looks like somebody (being me) is suffering from a case of the Mondays. And on those days I feel like doing this:

Although now that I think about Office Space my mood is improving. Who doesn't love that movie? Where is my stapler? And now that I have coffee my week can proceed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Date Night

My apologies to you peeps out there who are picture fiends. Normally my date night recaps might include photos, but last night was a special night. It was Valentine's date night...our first as a married couple!, and I got swept away with the date and abandoned my camera in the other room. Hopefully my descriptions will have to do!

Place: Our dining room, lit up with candles and set with our fancy china. Mike and I had a romantic V day dinner at home. We even dressed up! Hubby was in a tie, I was in a dress and nylons...we were both still in our house slippers...

Dinner: Roast beef tenderloin with carmelized onions and a red wine butter sauce, roasted red potatoes, and asparagus. Accompanied by a lovely Malbec and lots of mmm-mmm noises.

Sweetest moment of the night: Reading the silly little perforated-tagboard kids' valentines we'd written to each other and delivered to our DIY valentine mailboxes. Hubby gave me Transformers valentines (random) and brought me to tears with his incredibly sweet words.

Dessert: I don't bake, Hubbles can't cook, therefore dessert was an uber-rich storebought chocolate ganache cake. With pink frosting hearts.

Post-dinner, Hubby and I took the bottle of wine to the living room where we listened to classical music and sipped our wine and relaxed and talked about our days. It might sound lame, but it was great.

This lasted for about 15 minutes, then we changed into sweatpants, cleaned up our mess, and settled down with The Hunger Games for the night. Have you read these books? They are insanely addicting. Hubbles (who is NOT a reader) is plowing through the first book and I (who is a BIG reader!) am flying through book #2. Highly recommend. And I was wary at first because they are "young adult" books, and we all know what happened with Twilight. But these books are goo-ood.

Romance, candles, good food, sweatpants. What's not to love about VDay?!

P.S. Hubbles is awesome because...he is the love of my life. And I am his, according to the Transformers valentine featuring Optimus Prime.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday Valentine's DIY Project

Since we started feeding our feline children in the AMs instead of the PMs, little Maddie has gotten tres annoying in the mornings. Our peaceful Sunday morning slumber was destroyed around 5 this morning as little miss Piggy rooted around the house demanding noms and knocking over valuable things from counters.

After booting her out of the room we slept in late in delicious morning slumber, then I made banana-chocolate chip pancakes for hooman brunch and smelly chicken pate for kitty brunch.

Then Hubby and I commenced our weekend project.

Do you guys remember in elementary school, making little brown paper bag mailboxes in class, then on Valentine's Day everyone brought in little tagboard valentines for everyone and we got to drop them in everyone's bags at their desks? Mom always made me write one for everyone in my class, even if I didn't like them. *Humphbutshewasright*.

This year Hubby and I decided to go nostalgic and make our own Valentine's boxes, then write silly kids' Valentines to each other. In preparation, after we wolfed down our pancakes, it was arts-and-crafts Sunday. Construction paper, stickers, scissors and glue, oh my!

Hubby is a Type A-engineer for projects, if nothing else, so he was determined to have a well designed and executed mailbox for his Valentines.

oh what's in here, mom?
Maddie also decided to help.
i can haz valentine?


I was more interested in stickers than in precision, whereas Mike's was a picture of exactitude-ness.

We got married on September cute is my Hubbles?

I am Mike's wiffles.
All set for Valentine deliveries!! I put a few pre-emptive candies in for Hubbles, mostly so that he wouldn't eat all the ones I bought for my other valentines.

I also decided to send kids' Valentines to my co-workers. Maddie also decided to help with these.

we can do dis togetherz.
puppies and kitties with instant tattoos! how adorbs.
hey i thought you were going to help!
i iz halping. i resting so u can workz.
What are you guys doing for Valentine's Day?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oh Dad.

My dad has always been one of my biggest cheerleaders. And he is my hero.

He was orphaned in the Korean War, and worked and studied his way into scholarships for middle school through his graduate degrees (M.B.A. and Ph.D.) here in the States...then found a career as a university professor. All on his own, without financial or emotional support from anyone (besides my mom as an adult). Plus he got married and started a family through all this.

The things my dad has accomplished in his life, is nothing short of a miracle considering where he started, in an orphanage in post-war Korea struggling to eat every day.

Throughout all of my life he's been a pillar of support, the discipline in my life, the one insisting that I work as hard as I can, and do the best I can at everything. Very Asian, my parents were Tiger Parents if nothing else, but I appreciate it. Plus, unlike some traditional Asian values might dictate, both of my parents insisted that their daughters focus on being successful, independent career women, to never let their gender dictate their future, and to stand on our own feet.

And now that I'm in graduate school he's so tickled that he gets to talk to me about research and Ph.D. life, because he can relate. He likes to talk about his old mentor and reminisce about his grad school days.

Plus, I recently discovered that he has his own web site for school. That he made himself.

And, he looks like a really famous Korean comedian. I remember watching old variety shows from Korea as a kid, and really liking the comedian Lee Kyung Kyu, and always wondering why that was.

Now I know.

How cute is he?

Love you Daddy, thanks for making me the tough-yet-sweet independent woman I am today.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Polish date night

I'm not sure if it's at all unclear from my previous pics, but....I'm not Polish. Not even remotely. 


I know, I know, mouths drop open when I tell people that.

Haha, well though, all kidding aside, Hubby is Polish. A part of him is anyway. I think it's mostly his laugh, because when he finds something really funny, he laughs with this sort of deep belly ho-ho laugh. That laugh sounds Polish to me.

Anyway, I digress.

Last night Hubby and I finally went to this fabulous little bar in our neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis that we hadn't tried yet for dinner. It's a place called Nye's, and it's this old, kitschy corner bar that has a live polka band on the weekends (welcome to MN!), attracts a really funny mix of people for drinks and lots of middle-aged Nordeasters for dinner. Our waitress was Roxanne, she served us like we were her grandkids, and it was thoroughly hilarious and great.

Place: Nye's Polonaise Room

Activity: Leisurely dinner and wine while listening to the ol' neighborhood crowd chatter. It was Dave's birthday! *Davetheguyatthenexttable* Happy Birthday Dave! Everyone sang and took pictures. Hubby and I watched and hoped that some day we would be able to sit around a table with our friends and say Happy 50th Birthday to someone we love. Especially each other.

Surprise of the night: The size of our portions when our food arrived. I guess asking for "the small size" gets you nowhere at a Polish dining table. Hubby's polish sausage and saurkraut would have fed 3 people, my prime rib would have fed 12.


who's up for some music?!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Post-Superbowl fatigue syndrome...

Hello Monday, you seem to have arrived a little too fast for my taste this week. Somehow every time we decide to have "a casual get-together" at our house I somehow whip myself into a hostesswiththemostest-type frenzy regardless of how low-key we intend the event to be. This Sunday was no exception, we were just having a few people over to watch two teams nobody really cared about (sorry to Giants and Pats fans, we just aren't in your posse), drink some interesting beers, and give me the opportunity to use some of the fancy serving platters we got as wedding gifts. Of course I got carried away.

Otherwise known as cooking too many fabulous things for three times as many people as we have invited, scrubbing places that only ants can see in our house like the underside of the radiators, and flying around shoving clutter in random drawers that we will never find again.

The wonderful part about hosting parties---which I really do love to do despite my neurotic behavior--is that not only are the bashes tres fun because our friends are amazing, but Hubby is very diligent about helping with cleaning up the post-party carnage with me. Once again indulging my neurotic cleaning tics.

This leads to a conversation I've had with my married girlfriends numerous times...who does what chores in the household? I always say *halfjokingofcourse* that Hubbles thinks he does about 50% of the chores, when he really only does somewhere around 15-20%. Which is mostly true regarding the interior of our home, mostly because I have minor OCD symptoms when it comes to cleaning. I refer you back to my comment about cleaning radiators.

BUT what I fail to credit my lovely husband for is that he really maintains most of the house from the walls out! Not to mention our cars, the lawn, the bills...

Things I do around the house (mostly):
cooking food
cleaning the bathroom, kitchen *superOCDlike*
sweeping, mopping, cleaning the floors
buying the groceries
paying the rent

Things Hubbles does around the house (mostly):
car maintenance - insuring, fixing, filling with gas
lawn maintenance - mowing, weeding, watering
home repairs
organizing/paying the bills
shoveling snow *thankyouthankyou*
take out/sort the trash and recycling

Things we usually both do:
kitty maintenance (feeding, cleaning up)
argue about who does the dishes more often
break our computer

Now Hubby and I have been co-habitating for a while now, so these things have sort of naturally fallen in line along with our talents (aka I am car-illiterate so Hubs does everything there). How do you guys divide the chores??

P.S. Hubby is awesome because...he always helps me clean when I ask. :)
i am hubby, hear me roar.
as i stand in knee-deep snow i have to shovel.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yum yum...sausage and pasta are healthy!

Oh goodness me, I outdid myself the other day. I managed to go to the grocery store--without a list *gasp*, and I somehow remembered not only a recipe I'd found that I wanted to try, but I managed to buy all the ingredients to make it from memory. Alas, I still have not joined the 99% of the world population who has a smart phone (yet) so I must make do with my brain.

There needs to be some sort of award for that kind of accomplishment, no?

In any case, I cobbled together a lovely pasta dish:

Pasta with sausage, escarole, and cannelini: original post from the SkinnyTaste blog.

At least that was the original title. I of course couldn't find cannelini beans and had to make do with "northern beans". Which worked fine. Thus commenced Angie's SOP of taking a recipe and immediately disregarding the directions. Still turned out nummy though, so there.  LOVED how simple and quick it was, not to mention this is a one-pot dish (well two, if you count the pot the pasta is cooked in), so easy peasy clean up as well.

The base of the flavor is two of my favorite ingredients: garlic and onion, chopped.

warning, if you don't like garlic, you will not like this dish. but who doesn't like garlic? besides my breath.

They get tossed into a saucepan (I have a deep one with a lid that is my bread and butter), cook a little in olive oil, then add your sausage (free it from the casing), and some red pepper flakes if you like heat. I used Jennie-O's Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage because I am a no-pork gal. Plus turkey is healthier.

Also, cook your pasta al dente, then set aside.

 Sizzle sizzle. Then add chicken stock and your beans and let that come to a simmer.

Hubby had never heard of escarole before. I had to spell it for him. But I'd actually never eaten/cooked it before, so this was a first for both of us! It's like lettuce and cabbage all in one. I used an entire head of it for this, rinsed and chopped into ~2 inch pieces.

Once the pan is simmering, add all the escarole directly to it. No worries, it ends up wilting down to a manageable volume as it cooks.


After the escarole is cooked and the liquid has reduced a little, add your cooked pasta to the pan. Gently toss to mix everything up evenly, and add some salt and pepper to season, along with a generous handful of parm.

Tada! Finished product.

I topped it with a little extra cheese to serve it.

 Twas delish. Hubby made a point of simultaneously eating and questioning and affirming the taste of the dish. He was preoccupied with the escarole, but decided it was very good in the end. Obviously.

excuse me, your foot is in the way of the deliciousness.
1 lb pasta
3-5 links of sausage, removed from casing (depends on if you like more meat or less meat)
1 head of escarole, washed and chopped (7-8 cups)
1 can cannelini (or other white) beans, rinsed and drained of the gross bean syrup.
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to season
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
2. In a deep saucepan or pot, saute garlic and onions in olive oil, ~1 min. You won't need a lot of oil because fat renders out of the sausage.
3. Add sausage to pan and break apart as it cooks. Add red pepper flakes here if desired.
*I like to add the red pepper asap in cooking because the heat releases the flavor and spices.*
4. Once sausage is cooked, add in the chicken stock and beans, and heat to a simmer.
5. Add in the escarole, tossing carefully to coat. Cover and let cook down, ~4 min, tossing occasionally.
6. Add in the cooked pasta and parmesan cheese and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Top with a little extra parm and serve! Enjoy~!

P.S. Hubby is awesome because...he is always willing to try new foods, even when he's pretty sure he won't like it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Do you ever have one of those days where nothing is going wrong...but everything is still going wrong?

Yeah, it's one of those days. I have a case of the grumps.


Fortunately, I discovered that when I'm feeling grumpy or blue, there is a semi-narcissistic, self-indulgent way to improve my mood. Nope, not chocolate....

I look at my wedding pictures. Yes, yes, I know that it's a little...something. But I do feel better. That was a great day, the day I married my hunny. And I like remembering how beautiful it was.

Say it with me...ahhhhhhhhhh.

P.S. Mega props to our photographer, Jamie Abraham. If any of you are out there in the Twin Cities metro and looking for a phenomenal photographer (wedding or otherwise), I suggest you drop everything and head to her website.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Badger Date Night!

On Wisconsin! Go Badgers!

Hubby and I are big University of Wisconsin fans. Well, to say big is a slight understatement. What other descriptive could I use??...




Yes, those are more appropriate words. And to top it off we are both big sports fans in general. I know, did he hit the jackpot with me or what? haha.

This is all by way of saying that our date night last night revolved around Badger sports. The mens' basketball team was playing last night, so Mike and I decided to have some greasy bar food and watch the game on a big screen.

Place: Joe Senser's in Roseville

Activity: Eating strange hamburgers and watching our Badgers beat the Penn State Nittany Lions in a Big Ten basketball brawl.

i do like peanut butter...
Gross Moment of the night: When Hubby ordered the "Crazy Elvis" burger. Toppings on this burger involved, mayonnaise, bacon *blechihatebacon*, pickles, and PEANUT BUTTER.


Hubbles claims it was delicious and that he would "definitely order it again." But I remain skeptical. And for once, bacon was not the ingredient that turned me off from a menu item.
I guess as long as the King likes it...

P.S. Hubby is awesome because...he will order dessert even if he doesn't want any so that I can eat two bites of it. Then he will finish it off for me.